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The Embarrassing Eleven

Several prominent directors of Samurai films and Westerns in the 1950s and 60s shared a mutual admiration and openly made their art with direct reference to one another. In Akira Kurosawa’s brilliant movie Yojimbo, for instance, a masterless samurai played by the sublime Toshiro Mifune is standing at a crossroads and throws a stick up in the air to “decide” which direction to go. The scene is a direct reference to the John Ford film Young Mr. Lincoln, in which Ford’s version of the American president does the exact same thing. The Western remake of Kurosawa’s classic The Seven Samurai became The Magnificent Seven. In fact, the mutual “admiration” between purveyors of the two genres became so intimate that Kurosawa was forced to sue Sergio Leone over the movie A Fistful of Dollars, which was clearly a plagiarized version of Yojimbo by Leone.

Today America’s political leadership has clearly decided it wants to pay a similar kind of tribute to the despotic leaders of alleged democracies in the developing world that lack any respect for institutional legitimacy, rule of law, and common decency. Evo Morales, Nicolás Maduro, and Cristina Kirchner would be proud of the American political class these days, and would probably like some credit for serving as trendsetters. It’s difficult not to trip over instances of complete disregard for the Constitution, rule of law, consistency, or moral leadership among American politicians at the moment, but in the spirit of samurai films I wanted to begin by discussing President Trump and the “Embarrassing Eleven.”

Over this past weekend, eleven US Senators, with no factual basis for their claims of voter fraud, decided they will vote to challenge the Electoral College votes from several states on January 6. Following the example of this group of samurai, their leader, Mr. Trump, was recorded asking the Georgia Secretary of State to “recalculate” the state’s popular vote, saying “I just want to find 11,780 votes,” enough to flip the state’s electoral vote. So much for conservative belief in the importance of states and the Constitution.

Lest one think we need to blame only the president and his supporters here, it’s important to remember that many politicians on both sides of the aisle have spent much of the year abusing their authority and acting like petty dictators. Whether it’s Speaker Pelosi and Mayor Lori Lightfoot putting their hair styles over consistency, Governors Andrew Cuomo and J.B. Pritzker telling folks to forgo holiday vacations and meals but getting caught planning private trips and large family meals, Governor Gavin Newsom blatantly violating his own orders regarding indoor dining with a group from the California Medical Association to celebrate a friend’s birthday, or mayors closing schools throughout the country without any regard for the scientific evidence showing negligible risks to teachers and administrators, neither party has showered itself in glory during this past year. It is in fact nearly impossible to find decent political leadership in the US at the moment.

My colleague and editor of this space, Richard Reinsch, wrote a very prescient piece prior to the lockdowns in which he compared the Covid pandemic to a war effort, and hoped we would pull together to fight through it. By and large, the public (you, me, and everybody except America’s political leadership) took that charge seriously. People have stayed home to help bend the curve. Mask wearing is at or above levels in other countries lauded by our leaders as being “better” examples. We have forgone holiday gatherings and struggled to teach our children while also working from home and avoiding normal social lives. The costs to us have been real and difficult, while politicians have lacked the moral standing and empathy to effectively maintain our trust.

No matter what one thinks of the New Deal, at the very least FDR understood the magnitude of the crisis faced by the Second World War and did not spend most of that war attacking the press, showering himself with shallow praise, or showing a complete lack of empathy for the American people. Congressional and state leaders of both parties didn’t go around arguing for rationing of fuel and food for the war effort while blatantly defying those rules and lecturing Americans they weren’t sacrificing enough.

Trump and his allies are claiming that the entire system is so corrupt that when rules and institutions do not produce the desired results, they should be rejected. What’s more, they have the political confidence to make such claims.

Publius famously wrote, “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” People are imperfect, and we need government to mitigate the effects of those imperfections. Unfortunately, that phrase has occasionally been translated into “politicians are devils so we need institutions.” But that’s not what Publius or the Founders meant. People—normal people—will not become angels once they assume political office. Representative government relies on institutions to curb normal human behavior and divide power among different offices, thus preventing the concentration of power and possible abuses that might emerge.

But our current political class is made up not of normal humans but of extreme narcissists. The US has survived Watergate, the Clinton scandal, the Teapot Dome scandal, and the Grant Administration, just to name a few. Americans are hardly naive when it comes to politics. But the performance of this generation in leading us through a period of crisis has been an abject failure.

And this failure has led us to a much more profound problem: cratering levels of social trust in America’s leaders and among the public at large. Why have the Embarrassing Eleven chosen to follow this rogue leader? Why do millions of Americans believe without any tangible evidence that this election was stolen from Mr. Trump? What does it say about the health of the republic?

Though he lost, Mr. Trump received more than 70 million votes in this past election. And those people supported him in the midst of a devastating global pandemic and despite a gigantic and noticeable bias among the chattering class, mainstream media, and public health community. No one can simply dismiss this support as ill-informed or the result of some twisted view of Marxist false consciousness. It doesn’t take a genius psychologist to understand that individuals have prior beliefs and those beliefs help us filter the way we process information.

But now we face a tremendous crisis in establishing the basic “facts” that frame our political debate. Did Mr. Trump win or lose? This is now a matter of discussion among millions of Americans. This isn’t taking place in Argentina or Venezuela, but here—and in Georgia of all places where Mr. Trump’s party controls the mechanisms of state government. Judges—many of whom were appointed by Mr. Trump himself—have rejected the claims of voter fraud and manipulation made by his attorneys. It’s reasonable to note that these claims have also been rejected by judges appointed by other presidents and some of the alleged vote manipulations are said to have occurred in other states controlled by Democrats, but the breadth of the conspiracy and fraud being asserted is well beyond what one would expect were the health of the nation strong.

The underlying assumption of the Embarrassing Eleven is terrifying. Essentially, they and Mr. Trump are claiming that the entire system is so corrupt that when rules and institutions do not produce the desired results, they should be rejected. What’s more, they have the political confidence to make those claims. While pundits and the media berate Mr. Trump for his insistence that he won (and rightfully so), they are missing the bigger point: Enough Americans support these claims to encourage the Embarrassing Eleven and their rogue leader to push these arguments that American democracy is so riddled with corruption that it cannot be trusted. The division between those who believe the president and those who do not has become so vast as to make fact-based dialogue impossible. The real threat to our democracy is not Mr. Trump alone, as many in the press and on the left would like us to believe.

No, we’ll see the real threat only by understanding how we got here. How did we get to a place where millions of Americans are openly contemptuous of their entire set of political institutions? How did so many of us come to believe that we cannot communicate with and understand those who see the world differently? These are the problems that caused many to question the entire project of self-government in the 18th century, and we would be well served to go back and examine the early defenders of liberalism to understand why we have to listen to the grievances and views of Mr. Trump’s supporters, even if we firmly believe those positions are wrong and that he lost the election. Listening is not accepting, it is the art of citizenship and a requirement for democracy.


Were this a spaghetti Western or samurai film, we could count on a master filmmaker like Ford or Kurosawa providing valuable lessons with their storytelling magic and helping us see the faults in the human condition and the limits of our world. Much like Publius’ reminder about the imperfect nature of humanity, a recurrent theme for both filmmakers was the inherent skepticism we should bring to the political world. Whether it was Kurosawa’s buffoonish mayor in Yojimbo or John Ford’s admonition to “print the legend” from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, neither artist put undue faith in the people who staffed our political offices. We would be well served by remembering that point. Our political class won’t save us. We aren’t in the middle of a movie. We have to fix this, and it begins by reaffirming our faith in the institutions that have brought us this far and rejecting attempts by any leader to divide us. The election is over—it’s time to rebuild. How we do that is yet to be determined. But deciding to do otherwise? That way madness lies.

Reader Discussion

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on January 05, 2021 at 09:08:28 am

A study in contrast today. I'd be tempted to give the Mahoney covering Manent review a +10 on a scale of -10 thru 0 and onto +10.

By contrast I'd be tempted to give this embarrassment of sweeping generalizations, facile and dubious analogies and specious and moralizing harrumphs a -10. And all that while we're instructed to listen to those with whom we disagree. Besides, you're not going to cover this topic in a 2,000 word piece, which is why such specious forms of argumentation were attempted. But, as political sermon in will succeed with some.

But the Daniel Mahoney piece is superb. The last time I was tempted to offer a +10 here may well have been Mahoney's review of Trevor Shelley's "Globalization and Liberalism," which also covered Manent, along with Montesquieu and Tocqueville.

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Michael Bond
on January 05, 2021 at 09:11:03 am

That Trump lost and Biden won is not telling of the future. It’s the ickiness of the still uncongealed blood spilled from the yucky 2020 political battles (plural) that chokes the throat and will be expectorated over the next two elections as the oldsters sputter out and the newbies revert to seeking the Americanism that sews the wounds. America is not Communist China, Europe, Latin America or anywhere else. We are our Declaration, Constitution, liberty, grit and the recognition that problems are part of real life.

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D clark
on January 05, 2021 at 09:22:54 am

D. Clark, just for completeness, let me add that in your list of Americanisms that newbies revert to to see our wounds, you omitted the Green New Deal, Great Reset, critical race theory, and the like.

You also misspelled “sow.” It’s “sow the wounds.”

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Charles N. Steele
on January 05, 2021 at 10:45:36 am

Charles N.Steele: Your list of omissions is covered under “liberty”. If Americans choose your list, so be it. And if Americanism can’t sew our wounds, what kind of -ism do you suggest?

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D Clark
on January 05, 2021 at 11:33:42 am

"...what kind of -ism do you suggest?"

Well, it is certainly not the social-ISM that the superficially educated , a-historical newbies are proclaiming, nor the gender egalitarianism that the Proggies are promulgating, NOR may I add is it the new construction or RE-construction of a "corporate" conception of society - for YOU "newbies" that has nothing to do with business corporations but rather with a society stratified into preferred classes, castes or as in the present, preferred racial and ethnic groups.
Have at it, Newbie.
I only wish I could still be around to observe the effects of The Great REGRESSION.

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g
on January 05, 2021 at 09:16:28 am

Lynch’s piece is truly eye-opening. I’m astonished. “No factual basis for claims of voter fraud...”. No analysis from Lynch, just parroting of lines put out by mainstream media and “fact checked” by Google and Facebook, expressions of contempt for political figures who disagree, and David-Brooks-like faux-concern for those poor people who have lost faith in the system.

We might debate evidence. We might discuss what to do about the lack of mechanisms to address corrupt “”machine” politics that rig vote counts from the inside. We might analyze the consequences of letting a party of the radical New Left take command and try to think of how to stop them from destroying the country.

But instead Lynch counsels: “We have to fix this, and it begins by reaffirming our faith in the institutions that have brought us this far and rejecting attempts by any leader to divide us.”

I have no faith in our institutions; I cannot imagine why I should have. It would certainly be blind faith if I had it.

The bad guys in Lynch’s world aren’t the radical leftists; it’s those who oppose them, like Ted Cruz. And he claims they “divide us,” as if the country would otherwise unite around a party that labels its opponents deplorable, racists, and Nazis, and plans to change their lives radically.

It’s astonishing and sad to see such a piece from a Liberty Fund Senior Fellow.

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Charles N. Steele
on January 05, 2021 at 18:04:20 pm

The point is that fraud on a scale which could sustain Mr Trump's claim of having won the election but only for lack of integrity of the US voting system, but only in the states that he lost, has not been found even by his erstwhile attorney general Mr Barr who launched an investigation. Judges who have dismissed, sometimes making scathing comments directed against Trump's lawyers, the claim of fraud have done so because the quantity and quality of evidence needed to make a prima facie case that the election was won by Biden through fraud was lacking. However, that does not mean that no one in America believes that the election was rigged in states where Trump lost. Some do. Perhaps many do. But then some people also believe that the earth is flat. One is free to believe whatever one wishes to belief, but one must be challenged if a belief is claimed to be a fact.

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Curious
on January 06, 2021 at 12:38:13 pm

If that was the point, it was woefully conveyed, as that was not what was said: "no factual basis" is a foolish and wrong statement. The Liberty Fund does itself no favors by such jejune commentary. One would rightly call it embarrassing.

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Mark Hatzilambrou
on January 08, 2021 at 12:59:59 pm

There is no factual basis if allegations have been rejected time after time by courts.

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Curious
on January 05, 2021 at 09:21:52 am

My only real quibble here is the statement at the beginning that asserts "no factual basis." That some courts have thrown out some lawsuits alleging fraud does not mean there is "no factual basis." I have seen reports of irregularities in vote counting in some places. Unless these are all outright fabrications, they provide a "factual basis" even if on examination they are not found convincing. It is also beyond doubt that if the situation were reversed, if states Biden had apparently won on election day were thrown to Trump by the late discovery of sacks of absentee ballots, in just those states where a not-incredible number of found votes could miraculously give Trump the electoral college votes needed, or if news media reported that certain Democratic ballot counters alleged they had been prevented from observing part of the count, or that they had seen certain irregularities by the GOP counters in just those crucial states (notice how we're not hearing of any of this in CA or NY), then the entire mainstream media, Twittersphere, talk shows, eminent law school professors, everyone, would be doing just what Trump is doing, but with even more vehemence, and there would be marches on DC and rioting in the usual places etc. claiming Trump had stolen the election. Biden would be following Hillary's advice not to concede under any circumstances. Pelosi would be threatening not to seat various GOP reps. And possibly Lynch would have written this same article, but the national mood as "reflected" in the above-mentioned sources would be decidedly decided that all of the "evidence" of GOP vote fraud was not only plausible, not merely credible, but overwhelming.

So please. The mere fact that for over 4 years the entire left in this country and most of the center and even the right have been on a non-stop mission to depict Trump as the greatest danger to the globe ever seen in history--and you all know this is not an exaggeration of their "claims"--makes it implausibe that at least some persons in a position to do so would not do whatever they could to prevent Trump from receiving the necessary votes, because honestly no action could possibly be considered immoral, unethical or criminal if its intent was to prevent the re-election of the man who makes Hitler look like Lincoln, right?

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QET
on January 05, 2021 at 14:57:06 pm

Well said.

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ADM64
on January 05, 2021 at 17:08:05 pm

I agree completely with QET's excellent comment. There was unambiguous, video-recorded evidence showing the exclusion of Republican poll-watchers in Detroit and Philadelphia as well as the mysterious midnight counting of ballots pulled out from under covered tables in Atlanta after poll-watchers were sent home. Those videotapes raised a very strong inference of large-scale vote-counting fraud in all three Democrat-controlled jurisdictions, and the vote tallies produced by those jurisdictions erased strong margins in favor of Trump in MI, PA, and GA and swung the election to Biden. If similar evidence indicating GOP vote-counting fraud had been revealed, we would have seen outraged declarations from Democrats and their allies in the "mainstream" media as well as destructive riots in numerous U.S. cities. A constitutional crisis would have occurred that would have made Bush v. Gore look like an amiable picnic.

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AEW51
on January 05, 2021 at 09:28:24 am

If Lynch possessed even middling literary talent, which he does not, and if he could write passably well, which he cannot, his inability to think might be less annoying than otherwise, which it is not.

I wish I could say now of Lynch's badly failed attempt what New York Yankee great Billy Martin said in 1970 of Jim Bouton's inside baseball book, "Ball Four." Asked by a reporter what he thought of Bouton's book, Martin replied, "I didn't read it. I didn't like it!"

Unfortunately, I read Lynch's article before, not after, deciding that I didn't like it.
Next time I'll know better.

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paladin
on January 05, 2021 at 10:05:36 am

This author's ignorance exemplifies the systematic weakness of conservatism. Good grief :(

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Skeptical1
on January 05, 2021 at 13:55:41 pm

I heard a conservative talk radio host say that conservatives had lost k-12 education, higher education, Hollywood, the courts, the church, the media. All that was left to hold was... talk radio. Hilarious. And yet none of these losses were Conservatives fault. They became suddenly snowflakey, at the whim of forces their pouts could not control. Conservatives, true conservatives, would see Mr. Lynch's point and not the phony blazons and boogeymen of phony conservatism. Take your lumps and learn or you will lose even worse once your utterly non-conservative leader diminishes in his throaty grip on those whose votes you court. And when "leftists" learn to use your new abandonment of the Constitution against you, we will all need the Magnificent Seven to save our town.

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Michael J Grey
on January 05, 2021 at 10:45:28 am

The Author is completely wrong. There was substantial election fraud across the board.

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The Eye Ball
on January 05, 2021 at 18:05:44 pm

Of course, fraud that could not be proved in court.

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Curious
on January 06, 2021 at 01:54:16 am

As if "Move along; nothing to see here" isn't, y'know, a saying for a reason...

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Hektor Bleriot
on January 08, 2021 at 13:00:47 pm

Of course, and the earth is flat

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Curious
on January 05, 2021 at 10:55:06 am

“Over this past weekend, eleven US Senators, with no factual basis for their claims of voter fraud, decided they will vote to challenge the Electoral College votes from several states on January 6.“

How were you able to determine there is no factual basis for their claim if there has yet to be an independent audit to determine the authenticity of the votes in States where the votes have been disputed, and a judgement
as to the legality of the change of law regarding voting in this particular election by a State body that does not have the authority to change the law?

After three years , up to that period of time when Covid 19 hit, this Nation was involved in a battle to overturn the election with evidence that prove to be fraudulent. It is madness to suggest that taking the time to authenticate the votes from this election through a proper audit is excessive, because every reasonable person knows that a counterfeit vote is certainly not equal in value to an authentic vote, in fact every counterfeit vote for one party, negates an authentic vote for the other party. For this reason alone, a ten day emergency audit of the results in the disputed States is more than reasonable, unless one does not want to dispute the evidence in order to get to the truth of the matter, but would rather let the “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud and illegal conduct stand, uncontested, which obviously would not be Good for the posterity or the prosperity of this Nation, or any Nation in the Global World.

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N.D.
on January 05, 2021 at 13:59:56 pm

But how many imaginary counterfeit votes does it take to delay reality. Woe that any party could successfully perpetuate such a massive and perfectly hidden fraud. Next you will be saying the moon landing is fake. And when your audits show that the author is correct, what new invention will you lean behind to keep up your tattered and pointless banner? Not a soul on earth sought to overturn the last election for three years. They sought to have a president use behavior that fit precedents, but the election process was not challenged. Stop it.

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Michael J Grey
on January 05, 2021 at 17:40:05 pm

“They sought to have a president use behavior that fit precedents, but the election process was not challenged. Stop it.”
Actually they sought an impeachment, based on false pretenses, and challenged the election process, based on fraudulent information. There was zero evidence that Donald Trump conspired with The Russians to steal the election of 2016.

And when the audit is done, I suppose much of what was hidden will be revealed. Why do you fear an audit, which is legal, Michael, if you are so certain that nothing will be revealed?

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N.D.
on January 05, 2021 at 11:08:09 am

My initial reading of Lynch's article stunned me because the writing lacked literary quality, analytical intelligence and political awareness, and, most importantly to me as a trial lawyer, the article flew in the face of a mountain of undisputed, highly probative evidence as to the 2020 presidential election, a mountain of incriminating facts showing game-changing ballot manipulation fraud and massive, outcome-determining illegality in voting procedures.

Yet, Lynch simply ignored these facts and wrote what appeared to me to be merely a political hit job designed to protect Joe Biden. And in striving to protect Biden, it also appeared to me that Lynch would follow Biden's approach to reality, that as Joe Biden said recently, Lynch would also "choose truth over facts." Biden's truth over the actual facts.

After my first reading, I concluded that Lynch's article would be editorially suitable for the Washington Post, not despite but because of its disregard of reality and facts and because of Lynch's lurid display of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

But I was in a state of disbelief as to how such an essay could ever get past an editor at L&L and find its way into print. So I decided that I may have been wrong and that I should re-read Lynch's article, which I did just now.

And, indeed, after re-reading it, I have concluded that my initial harsh criticism of Lynch's article was wrong. It was insufficiently harsh. Lynch's article is simply horrible; it is appallingly, unbelievably bad. It is so bad that L&L should be sorely embarrassed to have miserably failed its readers and intellectually offended them in the process.

Does L&L have editors? Helllloooo!

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paladin
on January 05, 2021 at 11:44:54 am

"Does L&L have editors? Helllloooo!"

actually, due to a shortage of cash, they have apparently decided to piggyback on the likes of Facebook fact-checkers instead of editors.

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 12:52:52 pm

Now THIS is the Pukka Luftmensch I remember!!

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QET
on January 05, 2021 at 23:48:14 pm

Where have you been? It's true, "The fewer men, the greater share of honour." But "we few, we lucky few" have missed your voice in defense of liberty.

Our numbers are too few for Thermopylae. And, lucky few we may be, we are not likely in for an Agincourt outcome. More likely an Alamo or Little Big Horn.

You get the point. It's a ridiculously one-sided fight, but what the Hell. Last stands take the courage of manly men.

Welcome back!

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paladin
on January 06, 2021 at 13:34:19 pm

Hiding under my bed hoping you'd make it all go away. Alas!

(And thanks for the compliment).

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QET
on January 05, 2021 at 14:02:09 pm

I thought it was spot on. Look up, and move on. The author isn't protecting Biden, he is protecting you and the values you claim to believe in. You went to trial on evidence like this?

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Michael J Grey
on January 05, 2021 at 18:08:44 pm

Claims that have been dismissed by dozens of judges are simply allegations backed up by gossip.

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Curious
on January 05, 2021 at 11:15:36 am

Well THIS is "embarrassing"
Let us make that an Even Dozen as i am wont to include Mr Lynch in this cadre of embarrassment.
How is it that it is proper for a negotiation / resolution between litigants to be taped and broadcast - not to mention selectively edited.
Lynch accepts the media's characterization of solicitation by Trump to "steal" or "harvest" votes. Context proves this is not correct. And there is credible evidence, willfully denied by Democrat Judges in Pennsylvania and elsewhere ( see Stacy Abrams sister as one example of what we may term "Embarrassing Judges) that supports the allegations of voting improprieties.
I do not know the extent of the improprieties BUT I am NOT embarrassed in asserting that there was, and always has been, voter fraud in our elections and that, further, it is and always has been the Democrat party that made most extensive use of that time honored practice.

Moreover, is it not EMBARRASSING to read of another scribe who in his antipathy towards The Trumpster will adopt a position that WILL INSURE that such voting shenanigans will a) not be uncovered and b) will continue; THUS c) the electorates faith in the electoral process will be further diminished.

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 11:25:16 am

And what ism ore, I detect a rather "clever", albeit very subtle, almost hidden attempt to attribute the so-called "ill health" of the nation to the actions of the Embarrassing Eleven as well as to the supporters of the Eleven, and that the implication is that this attitude preceded the election.

Well, Gee Whiz, Beaver, could the scorn heaped upon the supporters of Trump have anything to do with the ill health cited by the Twelfth Member of the Embarrassing Cadre. Could the "in-your-face" disdain and disregard for the rules imposed on the citizenry have anything to do with it? Could the outright "silliness" (Z9's definition) of the academy, media and political class have anything to do with it. Could the absence of any punishment for the offenders / criminals of the Left have anything to do with it?

Try again, Mr Lynch. this is an embarrassing failure.

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gabe
on January 06, 2021 at 08:23:57 am

Embarrassing failure is a wonderful term, which works just as well to political hopes of the right in the last six weeks. Ill health? A term also applicable to effects the shallow pool of Twitter Narcissus which that side of the aisle is currently scrambling to drown face-first in to get one last sip of the heady taste of fascism. Bluster, lies and flags are no way to run a nation, let alone a party. The disdain is well earned, even if you find it hard to take.

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Michael J Grey
on January 05, 2021 at 11:25:54 am

"N.D." asks why no audit?, which is an easily answerable question: Because an audit would reveal "The Steal."

If the 2020 election were a federal tax return, it would never be approved without an IRS audit, on its face it would require an IRS audit, and then, after the mandatory audit by the IRS, its signatory would be indicted by the DOJ.

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paladin
on January 05, 2021 at 18:35:37 pm

True, Paladin, but then again, we do not all have standing when it comes to an IRS audit, but we, who are legally eligible to vote in a Presidential election, all have standing, in regards to adhering to the integrity of our Presidential election.
A counterfeit election for President in any State remains a federal offense, including if a particular state illegally changes its State voting laws, that also pertain to a Presidential election.

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N.D.
on January 05, 2021 at 11:42:38 am

Skeptical1 say: "This author's ignorance exemplifies the systematic weakness of conservatism. Good grief"
I would add: systematic "wokeness" to that charge.

Like a small and unseen leak in a roof, the damage done to the interior is slow but STEADY, resulting eventually in a form of toxicity, "toxic mold" which causes health problems. It must be rooted out. So too, the insidious and inevitable encroachment, either passive or willing, of "wokeness" and cowardice in conservative scribes / academics must be confronted, bleached out or removed if the body is to be made livable.

As The Godfather said to the Frank Sinatra character: "Stand Up. Be a Man"
Good advice to those who would wither in the face of (anticipated) cancellation from the Left.

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gabe
on January 06, 2021 at 08:27:29 am

Very macho to cite the advice of a crime boss. My advice for the drubbing the right just took that Lynch is trying to see a future beyond would be to "Sit down. Be a person. Listen and learn." The chest thumping and name-flag waving of the last four years is the toxic mold that just got rooted out before your eyes. That's the point.

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Michael J Grey
on January 07, 2021 at 12:53:55 pm

What was that toxic mold again? Oh yeah, your folks storming my nation's capitol.

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Michael J Grey
on January 07, 2021 at 17:38:19 pm

YOUR nation's capitol????
Talk about toxicity, Mikey Boy.

As for "listening", how about you and your ilk doing some listening?
Instead of preaching and always dismissing the concerns of those with whom you disagree as "ignorant", "chest thumping yahoos".
No, Mikey Boy, THE toxicity is lodged ever so deeply in the minds of those who have propagated the most vile and toxic slanders against this rather imperfect President - but more importantly against 1) his supporters, 2)American traditions, 3) the American regime and it's also imperfect but quite salutary contributions to human flourishing and 4) replacing it with the most insipid, a-historical collection of political / ideological slanders that debase not just our history but our very conception of governance.
If THAT is not toxic, then what is?
Are we to continue to passively ingest this rhetorical "drain cleaner." Mikey Boy, you may chose to do so as it appears that toxicity makes you flourish, to burst forth, to bloom like some toxic strain of Agaricus firmly seated in fecal deposits. Perhaps, it is there where you "Sit Down."

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 12:38:04 pm

“American politics has reached the point where merely establishing the basic facts that frame our political debate takes us to the brink of crisis.”

Some light reading to do before tomorrow:

https://firstliberty.org/news/dangers-of-socialism/

https://www.acton.org/religion-liberty/volume-29-number-3/how-socialism-causes-atheism

https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2019/05/16/the_equality_act_will_hurt_religious_freedom_110219.html

No doubt, but this is true not because of “The Embarrassing Eleven”, it is true because of a multitude of persons whose politics deny the self-evident Truth that can be known through both authentic Faith and authentic reasoning- a human person can only conceive a human person, thus every son or daughter can only be, in essence, from the moment of conception, a human person, and marriage cannot in essence be and not be, existing in relationship as husband and wife simultaneously.
Gender is not neutral, it is complementary.

Why then, is anyone surprised that when God is denied, beginning with Genesis, all hell will eventually break loose, or that a Pope who would state the self evident truth, in his Christmas Address 2012, “...and when God is denied, human Dignity disappears, would be in danger, due to the atheist materialistic over population alarmist globalist, desire to reset the Global World, according to their image of a Socialism, sans God, and thus sans Religious Liberty, and thus a Socialism that in making the State God, serves as an obstacle for both Liberty and a Happy Death, while using a virus as a form of bioterrorism, by refusing to address the source of Covid 19, and whether or not the addition of the spike glycoprotein, the furin cleavage site, was added naturally, accidentally, or intentionally.

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N.D.
on January 05, 2021 at 12:51:04 pm

Unfortunate that this blog decided to basically sit out this whole issue until a few days ago. All I've seen is McGinnis and now this author basically tell us what Facebook and Twitter already told us ("fraud is impossible, most secure election ever, anything to the contrary flagged as definitely not true, etc, etc"), and with about as much much substance to back it up. This is Washington post level garbage!

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Larry
on January 05, 2021 at 13:17:05 pm

If I were a priest hearing L&L's confession of the venial sin of wrath for spreading hateful Trump Derangement Syndrome by publishing Lynch's misleading article, "The Embarrassing Eleven," I would assign as its act of penance the duty of L&L to publish both a retraction and an essay of contrition and correction entitled, "The Unprincipled Forty-One and Moral Cowardice."

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paladin
on January 05, 2021 at 13:42:55 pm

What breathtaking garbage. I would love to have read this as a submission for a comprehensive examination in political science after four years of study in what was more appropriately described political philosophy at the college I attended 55 years ago. He would return year after year in an attempt to claim his diploma to no avail. I award this the Kevin Williamson Prize for political writing by a Drama major. Perhaps there's a position available at National Review.

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Michael Timmer
on January 05, 2021 at 13:49:00 pm

Aw shucks, I just noticed - you beat me to it. see below

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 13:43:47 pm

Your assertions that there is no evidence to support the claims made by Senator Cruz, et al, are completely ignorant of the plain language of the Constitution and the undisputed facts about what happened in the four states Texas sued. It used to be said we are a nation of laws not men; with you as one of the shepards we can now say we are a nation of sheep.

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Michael Bond
on January 05, 2021 at 13:44:08 pm

Paladin, first things first, is G. Patrick Lynch The Author Of this post or did he merely post this post?

https://viralnewspluz.com/the-embarrassing-eleven-legislation-freedom/

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N.D.
on January 05, 2021 at 13:53:07 pm

Interesting BUT....
I think Mr Powell is the plagiarist. Look at the line in the essay where the author refers to Richard Reinsch as a "colleague" and "editor" of this piece".
As far as I know, Powell has nothing to do with LLB.

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 13:47:29 pm

Well, I bet Mr Lynch had delayed the submission of his curriculum vitae to National Review pending completion and publication of this essay. Take a gander at today's NRO - 3-5 jeremiads against the Trumpster's claims of election fraud and that "horrible, horrible, impeachable" leaked settlement call between lawyers and the president as client seeking settlement.
Hey, maybe NRO actually pays their essayists.

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 14:33:52 pm

Good minds.....

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Michael Timmer
on January 05, 2021 at 14:15:56 pm

Over this past weekend, eleven US Senators, with no factual basis for their claims of voter fraud...

This assertion by Mr. Lynch seems to be a point of some contention. Perhaps it is useful to undertake a more detailed analysis of, not only the claim, but the form of it. If I may borrow Mr. Lynch's technique of introducing an argument with an inobvious and confusing analogy, I would offer the following:

Let's say you are a healthcare worker, a nurse perhaps, or a radiology technician, or an occupational therapist. You work in a hospital, and when you show up for work, someone takes your temperature, on account of the presence of a viral pandemic. The reason this person takes your temperature is that people infected with the virus will often have fevers. The presence of a fever does not prove that you have the disease related to the virus, nor would the fact that absence of a fever prove that you do not. But if you do have a fever, it creates the suspicion that you have the viral disease. A fever, though not proof one way or the other of the underlying concern, is evidence. The presence of evidence raises suspicion, that may or may not be confirmed by further evidence, but the presence of evidence, even if short of absolute proof is grounds for further action. If you have a fever, it is quite likely that you will not be allowed to enter the hospital.

Now you may object, using Mr. Lynch's formulation "you have no factual basis for your claim that I have that viral infection!" and point out that most fevers are not due to the pathogen of concern, and may not be due to an infection at all. You may assert that the presence of a fever is merely circumstantial, that before you are sent home someone should shove a swab up your nose and perform pcr testing, or survey your contacts to assess the risk. You may invoke Bayes's theorem to suggest that even with a fever it is more likely than not that you do not have the pestilence. You may thunder with indignation that there is no proof that you are a victim of the concerning pathogen, that the presence of fever does not establish the relevant fact. But you are likely to go home anyway.

From this, we can refer to a brief discussion that Gabe and I had regarding the difference between facts and truth, which I mention here because I am an extreme narcissist. There are four concepts that are tangled up in Mr. Lynch's argument that could use some clean-up: facts, truth, evidence and proof. Briefly, I would offer (understanding that this is my opinion only) that facts are observed, truth is appreciated, evidence is the collection of observations that establish facts and proof is the condition that connects facts with truth.

If we go to the subject of Mr. Lynch's piece, the evidence of fraud is that windows at some vote counting locations were covered, that vote counting in certain locations was halted for various reasons, and when it was resumed there was a significant change in the tallies, that there was a report of a broken water pipe in Atlanta that was given as an excuse to pause vote counting and which subsequently was found not to have been the case, that Mr. Biden's electoral win accompanied a curious lack of down-ballot success, etc. These observations are evidence, and to the extent they are verified and there is sufficient reason to believe that they are accurate descriptions of events, they are facts. They are not proof, but as with the ritual of temperature taking, the presence of evidence legitimately raises suspicion. It may be that each of the examples has an innocuous explanation, but if so it is not unreasonable to demand such. If this constellation of evidence, whether or not it establishes facts, or is sufficient proof, or established truth, creates suspicion, and this suspicion is understandable. It is this suspicion that creates the lack of confidence, the mechanism that divides us, and which should be the focus of remedial efforts. If the "embarrassing eleven" succeed in minimizing the conditions that led to such suspicion, I would suggest that their efforts accomplished more than Mr. Lynch's essay. The problem was caused by the circumstances of the vote counting and the voting processes. If they need to be fixed, they need to be fixed. Criticizing and attempting to marginalize people who notice them is an insufficient remedy for the concerns that seem to vex Mr. Lynch.

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z9z99
on January 05, 2021 at 16:45:55 pm

Mr. Lynch is lucky this comment section does not provide the upvote/ downvote feature. In fact, maybe that's what emboldened him to write this screed in the first place.

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EOW
on January 05, 2021 at 16:54:32 pm

Mr. Lynch ignores all of the shenanigans that took place in some of the swing states that undermined transparency and provided the perfect opportunity for Trump to mount the challenge that Mr. Lynch so derides.

I can only speak to Pennsylvania in detail wherein the State Legislature enacted mail-in voting prior to COVID-19 with specific requirements. After the pandemic started, the State Legislature amended the law to accommodate conditions created by the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania State Legislature (as in the previous law) required positive identification of all voters when the cast their ballot, required that no canvassing of ballots be conducted prior to election day, required that all mail-in ballots be enclosed in a “privacy” envelope, required that the outer (mailing) envelope contain the voter’s name address, and be signed by the voter, and required that all mail-in ballots be received by the Friday prior to election day. Basically, mail-in ballots were to be handled in the same way as absentee ballots had been for decades. Pennsylvania election law also provides for meaningful access for partisan poll watchers and it is a criminal offense, punishable by fine and prison, to obstruct partisan poll watchers. The Pennsylvania State Legislature then amended the original act to allow mail-in ballots to be received on election day instead of the Friday prior to accommodate the pandemic.

In past elections, including the June 2nd primary election with mail-in voting, positive voter identification has been accomplished by comparing the voter’s signature to the signature on-file in the voter registration records. This has been done, under the observation of partisan poll watchers, by the Inspectors and Judge of Elections for each ward and precinct. Also, the chain of custody of the ballot from the time of positive voter identification through tabulation is observable by the partisan poll watchers.

Note that, previously, absentee ballots were processed at the end of regular tabulation by the very same Inspectors, Judge of Elections, and partisan poll watchers at the local ward and precinct. These people are usually from the local community and are frequently acquainted with most of the voters. The partisan poll watchers are normally the local party committeepersons and know the neighborhood.

Due to the high quantity of expected mail-in ballots, they are no longer processed at the local ward and precinct level but, instead, are processed in bulk at the county level. For the two previous elections, partisan poll watchers were assigned by the parties to observe positive voter identification through signature confirmation for these mail-in ballots and also to observe the chain of custody of the ballots from verification through tabulation at the county warehouses. This new method reduced transparency somewhat because the processing takes place over several days and it is impossible to staff the canvassing with the appropriate partisan poll watchers that know the voters being verified. Not optimal but still provided some reasonable level of transparency.

Now comes the November 3rd election and the total destruction of transparency and the Rule of Law by the Secretary of the Commonwealth and by some municipal officials.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth unconstitutionally and unilaterally changed the due date for mail-in ballots to the Friday after the election and also suspended the signature confirmation requirement for mail-in ballots. Some municipalities conducted pre-canvassing of ballots (unlawfully prior to election day) to allow voters to “cure” any errors (such as lack of privacy envelope) and some municipalities also conducted actual early voting in direct violation to the law (ballots must be cast on election day only).
These actions were supported by erroneous rulings by the rogue Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The court, which has no jurisdiction over the plenary power of the State Legislature (provided by Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the US Constitution) with regards to setting the requirements for the selection of Presidential Electors, ruled that the election day due date violated the Pennsylvania Constitution in some way (the law contains a clause that that invalidates most of it if any part is held invalid; therefore, if the PA Supreme Court is correct, mail-in voting is also invalid). Further, they held that signature verification was not required for mail-in ballots by the election law because it doesn’t specifically say that signature verification is required. That’s hackery at its worst. The ONLY way to positively identify the voter casting a ballot by mail-in voting (as required by the law) is by verification of the signature on the mailing envelope against the signature on-file in the voter registration record and this has been past practice for in-person and absentee ballots for at least 50 years in Pennsylvania.
Some municipalities then used the removal of the signature verification requirement as an excuse to block meaningful access for partisan poll watchers because it was no longer necessary.

The case regarding the change in mail-in ballot date extension is still awaiting a decision regarding certiorari before the US Supreme Court. In an opinion issued by Justice Alito (joined by Justices Gorsuch and Thomas) when the court denied expedited review, Justice Alito wrote:
“It would be highly desirable to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the State Supreme Court’s decision before the election. That question has national importance, and there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution. The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming that a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules it thought ap-propriate for the conduct of a fair election.”

Mr. Lynch should examine all of the issues in the swing states before singling-out “The Embarrassing Eleven” for destruction of the Rule of Law.

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Mad Max
on January 05, 2021 at 17:06:11 pm

No factual basis? If you look at the breakdown of votes for the supposedly mailed-in ballots that were never verified you see a statistical improbability. Combine that with the fact that the process did not follow the state constitutions and violated laws and I would say that Trump has a very good case. That said, the election was fixed by a media that kept making up lies about Trump while suppressing truths about Biden. Note that as someone who has watched Conservatives cheer the stealing of foreign elections I don't have much sympathy for the current hypocrisy on their part. But I am not willing to let the Democrats off the hook either. They cheated. They may now have to live with a horrible choice that they made. And live with the consequences of destroying the currency and economy. As bad as Trump was on some issues, Biden and the Democrats are much worse.

Good luck to America. You will need it.

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Vangel Vesovski
on January 05, 2021 at 18:12:21 pm

Allegations that have been dismissed by courts

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Curious
on January 05, 2021 at 18:31:38 pm

"Allegations that have [ not even] been entertained by courts, often comprised of Democrat appointees in Democrat controlled States.

Yet, Gore was treated quite differently in his "contestation" of an election.

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Guttenburgs Press and Brewery
on January 05, 2021 at 18:06:47 pm

Mr Grey makes some interesting comments. Here is one:

"I thought it was spot on. Look up, and move on. The author isn't protecting Biden, he is protecting you and the values you claim to believe in. You went to trial on evidence like this?"

I will begin by saying that Grey is correct in suggesting that we "move on" as it is quite likely that Sleepy Joe will be inaugurated. Let us be realistic regarding that outcome.
However, several considerations are to be had from that action.
1) As Grey avers, Biden will be president. Accept it, if reluctantly. Foolhardy and quixotic efforts to continue to battle the windmills of media disinformation / refusal to investigate do put the right in a bad light, even if unjustly earned. Move on!
2) Yet, what specifically are we to move on to? Could it be that we OUGHT move on to compel an investigation into the irregularities, statistical oddities, State agency overreach in the conduct of elections and judicial mis / malfeasance in their constitutional duty to impartially adjudicate cases and controversies.
3) Ought we to move on to a nationwide review of voting protocols to include a) purging of ineligible voters from State voter rolls, b) signature verification protocols that would ensure legal voters are voting legally, c) a review of such procedures as "ballot drop boxes" and attendant security or lack thereof, d) review of various State protocols for BIPARTISAN vote counting observers and e) (amongst others) procedures for the rather frequent "unexpected" interruptions of the vote count and requirements that BIPARTISAN observers be enabled to view, examine and challenge the "interruption."
4) Move on to an more offensive posture rather than defensive mode when it comes to election integrity and protocols. Since the Left has established a rather *enviable* record of Judicial and non-judicial success in forcing lax vote verification standards via court decisions AND NGO inspired and paid for "consent decrees". let us also use the same legal and litigative mechanisms to enforce tighter verification standards.
5) Let us move on to a post-election review of ALL the charges and allegations of voting impropriety where we may sort out the observed facts, construct an operating hypothesis or testable / conditional truth, test that hypothesis as to it's reliability as evidence, proffer whatever evidence may result as proof of the reliability of the observed facts.
6) AND BY ALL MEANS, let us MOVE ON to a condition where the citizenry of this nation may regain trust in the electoral system that has been slowly eroding over the past several decades.

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gabe
on January 05, 2021 at 18:46:33 pm

Hear, here!

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N.D.
on January 06, 2021 at 13:46:20 pm

Gabe,

A couple of quick thoughts:

1. It should be obvious that there is a trade-off between "counting every vote" and the integrity of elections. The easier you make it for people to vote, or the more accommodating you are of their excuses for not voting, the more likely that the resulting procedures will be friendly to fraud and manipulation. It should also be obvious that fraud vitiates the purpose of making the franchise more available: it doesn't do much good to vote if that vote can be canceled by a fraudulent counterpart. Unfortunately, like much of our politics, certain issues are dominated by obsessive-compulsive disorder. The people who advocate most stridently for expanding access are either clueless or dismissive of the possibilities of fraud, with the result that the the legitimacy and therefore the efficacy of elections will suffer. This is bad for consensual government. If people do not accept government policy, they find ways to delegitimize and counter it; see e.g. prohibition, the war on drugs, the draft, etc.

2. Madison noted, I think in Federalist 49 or 50, somewhere around there, that pure democracies inevitably degenerate into tyrannies that usually blow up in the face of radicals. The "democratizing" schemes, e.g expanding the Supreme Court, ending the filibuster, eliminating the Electoral College, expanding the voting franchise to non-citizens, etc. are follies to be encountered along that path. The results of pure democracy are more likely to reflect the passions and moods of the people, rather than what is best for the polity.

3. It is naïve to attribute the results of this election to voting shenanigans. There are several factors that combine to affect the attitudes of the voting public, and these are not necessarily the products of design or planning. Among these are:

a. The economic phenomena that disfavor large families, or even of having children at all;

b. The decline of scarcity among the essentials of subsistence and prosperity. No one in the U.S suffers from famine. This alteration in scarcity is behind Alan Greenspan's bafflement at "irrational exuberance." The crucial possibility is that understanding of economics could not quite anticipate the achievements of Norman Borlaug or Alan Turing, or for that matter Elon Musk. The inevitable result of this occurrence is Modern Monetary Theory and demands for universal basic income. These things may have been made possible by technological advances, and they may seem quite attractive, but their effects are unknown;

c. The ascent of "safetyism." this is not a modern phenomenon, and its nascent shoots can be seen in claims of Ms. Palsgraf against the Long Island Railroad. It is an emotionally-driven siren-song that lures societies to perilous waters. It is far more destructive than beneficial, but nonetheless does have some political potency, and appeals to people who cannot be bothered to think very deeply;

d. The new race hucksterism, propelled by illogical and absurd notions of microaggressions, entitlement and "privilege;"

e. The industrialization and relentless quest for efficiency in areas of life that do not accommodate them as well as expected. It used to be that if you asked a doctor "who is your boss?" he would have to ask you clarify your question. Now he is likely to respond with the name of a 28 year-old MBA who neither knows nor cares anything about your health.

f. The rise of Big Tech, which blatantly conflates and targets commercial and political propaganda;

e. The fashions in the media, academia, the commentariat and political institutions that principles are optional. This is not limited to the political left.

f. Our candidate selection processs that allows discrete but organized and committed factions of limited, often monomaniacal interests to commandeer the process at early stages and eliminate candidates of more prudent temperament and competent ability.

In short, I think that the result of the recent election, and in fact that of 2016, are due to much more pervasive and consequential factors than merely vote-counting and balloting procedures. I also think that they do not have an end-point; the struggle will go back and forth for as long as we are around.

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z9z99
on January 06, 2021 at 14:07:11 pm

Oh, I forgot one.

i. The phenomenon in such places as New York, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, etc., where urban metropolitan voters, who lean heavily left and have almost exclusively urban metropolitan concerns, swamp the rest of the state.

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z9z99
on January 06, 2021 at 16:16:02 pm

Z:

All good points and none that I would disagree with.

Bear in mind that my "Move on" commentary was directed solely at the mechanics of elections and not the underlying causes or motivations of the voters.
In a sense, we may say that your points provide the reasons or underlying causes of why some 80 million voters (or so we are told) cast their ballots for Sleepy Joe.
My points were directed only at the electoral mechanics that permitted such a tally, which is the issue under dispute.
Did the cultural changes that you alluded to actually produce EIGHTY MILLION BIDEN VOTERS or was it the result of "shenanigans" which inflated the numbers of those so "culturally changed" (your points) as to vote for Biden, and now in Georgia Warnock and Ossoff?

We do not disagree on the causes for changes in voter preferences or biases. I would add another factor to your list:
K-16 education monopoly which has inculcated into 2-3 generations of americans a hatred for their own country, its traditions, its' "real diversity" and the substitution of a fallacious and destructive new contradictory concept of "diversity" which, in effect, is an attempt to create a diversity of castes, i.e., victim castes, oppressor castes, privileged and non-privileged castes. these mal-educated voters now vote in accordance with the Gospel of Wokeness.

So again, my comments were simply an attempt to address the mechanics of elections that may be said to inflate the number of "woke" voters beyond their actual level.
BTW: I agree with Paladin: They have a snowball's chance in Hell of being implement - especially after our self-induced debacle in Georgia.

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gabe
on January 07, 2021 at 16:37:02 pm

Gabe,

I take your point. I was not disputing anything you said, the substance of which I regard as good common sense. I think it behooves everyone to pay more attention to election integrity, even if doing so provokes shrieks of "voter suppression!" from certain quarters.

It is always worth considering the possibility that the people are smarter than their representatives, or that the society is smarter than the state. When a certain mass of people, not necessarily a majority, regards a government as illegitimate, they find ways to contend with the circumstance. The stream of weak post-war governments in Italy led to a thriving underground economy. Small and consistent acts of resistance saps the energy of lawmakers and law enforcers. The authority of law enforcement is predictably undercut, with social and psychological consequences that further undermine government legitimacy. Corruption becomes rampant and the spiral continues. Despite the seemingly overwhelming control of the power apparatus, governments of suspicious legitimacy falls short of consensual government, and inevitably finds itself on defense. So, yes, it behooves both the left and the right to bolster the integrity of elections.

My point is that the right needs to understand that the world has moved under its feet, and that the assumptions that the benefits of liberty are self-sustaining are not true. This is not defeatism, but merely an observation that the right must contend with the natural, unscripted, and unplanned changes wrought by the natural course of history. It is somewhat like reaching a new level in a videogame, or progressing through martial arts ranks. Different circumstances call for different tactics. Perhaps we should take a lead from the left: we should demand that our politicians not merely be non-tyrannical, they must be anti-tyranny, publicly and explicitly. The argument that we must have more tyranny so we can have more democracy is not going to fly.

Allow me to leave off with a quote from a hundred years ago:

The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears to be a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas. -G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America

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z9z99
on January 07, 2021 at 16:58:47 pm

Hmmm. Don't know what happened to the body of my comment. Best I can remember it was something like this:

I was not disputing anything you said, the substance of which I regard as good common sense. I agree that it behooves both the left and the right to protect the integrity of elections, even if doing so provokes shrieks of "Voter Suppression!" from certain quarters.

Politicians and political activists must entertain the possibility that the people are smarter than their representatives and that the society is smarter than the state. When governments are perceived as weak or lacking a consensus of legitimacy, people find ways to deal with the circumstance. Underground economies form, petty laws are flouted at first, followed by more substantive ordinances. Small acts of defiance sap the energy of law makers and law enforcers, with social and psychological consequences for each group. This undermines the legitimacy of law enforcement, and thus government in general, which creates a tightening spiral. The government begins to lose first authority, then power.

My point was that the right must realize the world is moving under its feet, and that the assumption that the benefits of liberty are self-sustaining is not accurate. The situation is analogous to moving to a higher level in a video game or progressing through martial arts ranks. New circumstances call for new assumptions and new tactics. Perhaps we should borrow from the left and assert to our representatives that merely not being tyrannical is not enough, that they must be explicitly and resolutely anti-tyranny. The idea that we must have some tyranny in order to have more democracy is not going to fly.

Finally, let me close with a quote from a hundred years ago:

The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas. - G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America

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z9z99
on January 05, 2021 at 19:59:33 pm

None of the "move on" proposals for Republicans to fix the procedures for future elections has any chance of being implemented if the logic of Lynch's "analysis" is realized tonight and Democrats capture (by hook or, more likely, by crook) the two Senate seats on the ballot. Even if the Republicans retain the Senate, the ONLY "move on" step regarding future elections would be an investigation and meaningless report on the 2020 election by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sorry, but that means, whether or not Republicans control the Senate, that for the next four years the only "move on" options available for conservatives are 1) to form "La Resistance," 2) to aggressively and lawfully oppose the Revolutionary Democrat Party politically and legally, 3) to obstruct it lawfully at every opportunity in everything it attempts, 4) to strive to retain control of the Republican Party and further purge that party of RINO's, and 5) to organize for massive counter-attacks (breakouts) in 2022 and 2024.

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paladin
on January 07, 2021 at 12:48:17 pm

Great ideas sage Paladin. Good luck proving Mr. Lynch's point over and over as you continue to lose ground in every way and become a joke of history instead of a once vibrant political party. You do understand that half the nation will always disagree with the other half and that Madison's simple genius was that each would be allowed their moment as the preferences of an ephemeral majority shifted back and forth over time? You do know that he was smart enough to see that as the way to forestall incessant civil war? Too bad you weren't in my class, that's what I teach. Take a deep breath and think, dear brother. You are on the path of ruin, or at least obsolete and perpetually outvoted minority. At least take your demotion with some grace.

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Michael J Grey
on January 05, 2021 at 20:12:20 pm

The Trump-Gohmert scheme to invalidate the Electoral College vote is completely the antithesis of how our election systems are to be run.
There is a great problem with their scheme. They are ignoring voters’ preferences. No matter how they voted for President, voters should be angry. In effect, the Representatives and Senators that vote to ignore the electoral count are also saying that any and all votes do not matter at all. They have taken it upon themselves to decide who will be President.
This is a betrayal of America, its people and our Constitution.
Voters should not react with violence or vandalism in word or deed. That would be getting down to the level of those who have no use or regard for them.
But voters should realize that their American status and citizenship is being completely disrespected.
All voters should tell those who have no regard for them that they will be ‘dis-elected’ and even recalled when and where it is possible.

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John Cormode
on January 06, 2021 at 10:44:01 am

“The Trump-Gohmert scheme to invalidate the Electoral College vote is completely the antithesis of how our election systems are to be run.
There is a great problem with their scheme. They are ignoring voters’ preferences.”

You ignore and negate voter’s preferences by giving equal weight to counterfeit votes. An audit is necessary to determine which votes are authentic. It is not necessary today to invalidate the Electoral College vote, what is needed for the sake of election integrity, is a postponement of the Electoral College vote in order to separate the counterfeit votes from the authentic votes. No one who desires election integrity could possibly object to that.

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N.D.
on January 06, 2021 at 17:22:21 pm

To quote Obama's political godfather, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, today's events at the Capitol Building are ''the chickens coming home to roost" after The Steal of the 2020 election. The mob has a green light, now, a light turned permanently green last summer. All the more reason to hate the outlandish apologetic of Lynch's article and the moral cowardice for which it speaks.

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paladin
on January 07, 2021 at 12:42:48 pm

Oh so it's ok now that it's a side you're comfy with? What a speedy abandonment of your principles. I'm not surprised.

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Michael J Grey
on January 07, 2021 at 13:04:59 pm

Are you deranged?
I have no idea what you're talking about.
I'll bet you have no idea what you're talking about.

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paladin
on January 07, 2021 at 11:17:53 am

The hypocrisy of hypocrites is that ten days is now deemed too much time to spend on an audit that would ensure the authenticity of votes, and thus election integrity.

All that was necessary to ensure that both The House Of Representatives And The Senate, regardless of political party, desire to protect and secure election integrity, was ten days.

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N.D.
on January 07, 2021 at 11:24:43 am

How was it that 10 days was too much to ask of a Congress that takes months to do the most minor matters, 1-2 years for major matters, and needs a 10 day break for its Members to rest up from their every holiday?

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paladin
on January 07, 2021 at 18:43:22 pm

Wasn't there a TV show called "Grey's Lobotomy?'

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paladin
on January 07, 2021 at 19:42:50 pm

No, I think it was "Grey's Gelding"

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gabe
on January 12, 2021 at 08:04:18 am

Lovely. Wasn't there an old black and white western with a character named Paladin? I'm sure you are just as rough and tumble in your armchair, muttering about why your cause is fading into channels nobody remembers.

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Michael J Grey
on January 07, 2021 at 19:37:43 pm

THIS IS ADDRESSED TO ALL THOSE WHO WOULD, OUT OF ANTIPATHY, WILLFULL IGNORANCE OR MANIFEST HOSTILITY, DENY, DISPARAGE OR OTHERWISE DIMINISH THE CLEARLY EXPRESSED AND VALID CONCERNS OF A LARGE SEGMENT OF THE CITIZENRY WHO GATHERED IN WASHINGTON, D.C. YESTERDAY TO GIVE VOICE TO THEIR INTERESTS IN FAIR ELECTIONS.
TO CONTINUE TO DENY THE VALIDITY OF SUCH CONCERNS IS INDICATIVE OF A DELIBERATE AND WIDESPREAD REFUSAL TO CONSIDER THE UNDERLYING CAUSES FOR THIS PARTICULAR CITIZEN PROTEST.
IT IS NOT SIMPLY THE ANOMALIES ARISING DURING THE RECENT ELECTION THAT HAS SPURRED THESE PREVIOUSLY QUIESCENT CITIZENS TO ACTION, TO CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY IN ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE IN GENERAL. IT IS, AND THIS HAS BEEN MADE MANIFEST BY THE MEDIA AND ELITE POLITICAL COMMENTARY AND CRITICISMS, THE HYPOCRISY OF THOSE ELITE POLITICIANS, ACADEMICS, SOCIAL MEDIA AND LEGACY MEDIA ORGANS WHEN COVERING PROTESTS OR ASSEMBLIES BASED UPON THE POLITICAL VIEWPOINTS PROMOTED BY THE DIFFERING PROTESTERS.
YESTERDAY’S MEDIA COMMENTARY DEMONSTRATES THE IRREFUTABLE BIAS OF THOSE ORGANS OF “TRUTH.
WHERE WERE THE CALLS FOR “DEFUND THE POLICE” WHEN NANCY PELOSI HAD TO ABSCOND TO SAFE QUARTERS? WHY WERE THERE NO MONOLOGUES ON MSNBC, CNN, ABC, ETC SUPPORTING THE “DEFUND” CALLS?
WHERE WERE THE CHARACTERIZATIONS OF THE RATHER UNFORTUNATE DEVOLVMENT INTO MOB OUTRAGE AND VIOLENCE AS “MOSTLY PEACEFUL.”? NO, THEY WERE DESCRIBED AS “CHEST-THUMPING, FLAG WAVERS” (here at LLB), AS SEDITIONISTS, TERRORISTS, ETC. WOULD ONLY THE MEDIA HAVE SO DESCRIBED THE BLM / ANTIFA PROTESTS AS SUCH, PERHAPS IT COULD HAVE BEEN SAID THAT THE MEDIA IS NOT A VICTIM OF ITS OWN (CONFIRMATION OR WORSE) BIAS.
COMES NOW THE DETESTABLE SHOOTING OF A YOUNG WOMAN BY A CAPITOL HILL POLICEMAN. THE VICTIM WAS UNARMED. THE POLICEMAN WAS BACKED UP BY (my count) SIX FELLOW OFFICERS, MANY OF WHOM WERE CARRYING AR-15’S (something, of course, which has been termed an assault rifle and is, or will be denied to the citizenry) AND WERE STANDING NO MORE THAN SIX FEET AWAY FROM THE VICTIM. OUGHT NOT THE POLICEMAN TO HAVE SIMPLY TRIED TO RESTRAIN THE WOMAN, ARREST HER, PLACE HER IN CUSTODY. AND IF NOT HE, THEN ANY ONE OF THE OTHER OFFICERS IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY?
WHERE ARE THE CALLS FOR POLICE RESTRAINT?
WHERE IS THE OUTCRY AT THE ENDEMIC, SYSTEMIC OVERREACTION BY POLICE FORCES THAT FLOODED THE NIGHTLY NEWS DURING THE BLM ANTIFA RIOTS OF THE PAST SUMMER?
WHERE IS THE PROSECUTOR RISING UP AS A MUSHROOM IN A FECAL FIELD TO ASSERT BOTH HIS / HER AUTHORITY AND INTENTION TO PROSECUTE THE OFFICER FOR MURDER? IF ANYONE HAS HEARD SUCH INTENTION, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
LEFTISTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA EXHORT THE POLICE TO “SHOOT ALL THE F*CKERS” ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK ----AND THEY ARE NEITHER DELETED NOR CANCELLED. HAS ONE MEDIA MOGUL, ONE MEDIA MAVEN DECRIED THE DEATH OF THIS GOOD, BUT PERHAPS MISGUIDED OR OVERENTHUSIASTIC YOUNG VETERAN?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!
AND OUR LEFTIST FELLOW CITIZENS WONDER WHY THERE IS SUCH FRUSTRATION AMONG THE POPULATION.
THERE VOICE IS NEITHER HEARD NOR CONSIDERED.
THEIR PAIN, THEIR ANXIETIES ARE MET NOT WITH SOLICITUDE BUT WITH SCORN AND DERISION.
THERE ARE NO GRANDMOTHER MAJORITY LEADERS, SENATE MINORITY LEADERS KNEELING IN OBEISANCE TO THEIR DEMANDS. THERE IS NO GRANDSTANDING, NO POLITICAL POSTURING IN ORDER TO EITHER SECURE THE VOTES OF SOME IMPORTANT DEMOGRAPHIC OR IN FEAR OF “OFFENDING” THESE AND RELATED VICTIM GROUPS.
UNTIL AND UNLESS THE MORAL AND POLITICAL OBTUSENESS OF THE GOVERNING, MEDIA AND ACADEMIC ELITES RECOGNIZE THE CONCERNS AND RESPOND TO THE CONCERNS OF THE CITIZENS, THERE WILL BE NO END TO THIS.
AS THE LEFTISTS SAY “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE.’
HELL, THE RIGHT IS ONLY SEEKING TO BE RECOGNIZED AND HEARD AND TO HAVE A FULL ACCOUNTING OF THE PRECIOUS RIGHT TO VOTE.
I FEAR THAT MATTERS WILL GET WORSE AS THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE EITHER THE WILL OR THE DESIRE TO RESPOND PROPERLY TO THE CONCERNS OF HALF THE POPULATION.
THE WILL IS LACKING BECAUSE THE LEFT FEARS THE LOSS OF VOTES IF IT DOES NOT “KNEEL DOWN’ TO EVERY NEW DEMAND, EVERY FACILE “SOLUTION” PROPOSED BY ANY NUMBER OF THEIR INTEREST GROUPS.
THE DESIRE IS LACKING BECAUSE THE LEFT REVELS IN THIS ANTIPATHY AND RECONSTRUCTS, REPOSITIONS ITSELF AS THE “SAVIOR” OF AMERICAS “VICTIMS.”

THE RIGHT SIMPLY DESIRES TO BE HEARD.
I SUSPECT RECENT EVENTS WILL STIFFEN THE “WILL” OF THE RIGHT.

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gabe
on January 07, 2021 at 19:39:48 pm

OOPS! FORGOT THE LINK;
IT IS GRAPHIC BUT IT IS PROOF OF POLICE MISCONDUCT OF WHICH I SPOKE.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/07/capitol-police-fatally-shoot-unarmed-woman-during-wednesdays-breach/

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gabe
on January 08, 2021 at 09:01:17 am

Well put. Very well put.

But who needs honest elections when we have the moralizing, uncomprehending antipathy of people like Ben Sasse to assure us we don't need to worry about such things. And Hugh Hewitt giving him plaudits for his faux high-mindedness. But, we do have Gaetz and Hawley, though character assassination cancel culture will be coming for them, and with a vengeance.

At any rate, soundly and well put.

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Michael Bond
on January 08, 2021 at 15:43:42 pm

"THERE VOICE IS NEITHER HEARD NOR CONSIDERED. THEIR PAIN, THEIR ANXIETIES ARE MET NOT WITH SOLICITUDE BUT WITH SCORN AND DERISION."
So well said. I was in D.C. on 1/6 to stand with the many "unwashed masses" or "deplorables." Despite having hundreds of thousands of people there, the actions of 50 or so at most are what we hear about. The mayor did everything she could to make it hard for citizens to gather and have a chance to petition their government for redress of grievances. There was barely any trash on the ground on The Mall, everyone tried to clean up after themselves. Most people were extremely calm; if someone did get claustrophobic and start to panic in the crowd, many protestors took control to get them out keeping everyone calm. When The Capitol was stormed she used the emergency broadcast system to send a message that could have caused mass panic, the police started blocking roads and it became harder to leave the city. I have always backed police, but they seemed to be working against us. I was skeptical about the "election fraud" at first. However, the more media, DOJs federal and state, the FBI, sate AG's would not offer explanations of what could be perceived as fraud, in fact tried to thwart transparency, the more convinced I became someone was hiding something. I do believe that equal protections were violated if nothing else. If Americans do not feel this was a fair election, and no one is willing to offer any type of transparency, we will suffer as a Republic. I am the wife of a big law partner in town and mix with the "country club Republicans." Most of them are empty husks of human beings who distain working class people. I refuse to spend much time with the wives of these vapid human beings, they are also equally as shallow. Reading G. Patrick Lynch's essay reminded me of sitting with the pompous individuals I just described at a gala for the arts or some equally irrelevant event, during the good old days when we could leave our houses. The "shinny shoe GOP" has no idea who the everyday man is, but the everyday man is well aware that he is despised by them. Throughout this pandemic I have enjoyed skipping the obligations of a big law partner's wife. I much prefer now to hang with the MAGA crowd. My cleaning lady, friends my husband and I grew up with, people from the country church I attend. This is what turned me from a life long Democrat to a full on Trump supporter in 2020. People like G. Patrick Lynch should go back to their golf game and declare "let them eat cake."

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Sarah
on January 08, 2021 at 18:07:43 pm

Thank you for your comments and insights; but more so for your courage in taking the stance and actions you have taken.
Keep it up. It is people like you who are not cowed by societal pressure, much of it not just wrong but delusional, that may slowly make a difference.
Stand for what we all know to be right, decent and proper.
BTW: If you golfed, DO NOT give it up. Do as my wife and I do:S cornt he country club but play at a municipal course. The people are generally friendlier and not quite as likely to be "woke."

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gabe
on January 09, 2021 at 01:03:07 am

Gabe,

In response to your post, I offer the following observations and speculations. I am not disputing anything that you wrote. I intend no opinions as to moral assessment or matters of right and wrong. I intend to neither makes excuses for anyone, nor assign blame. With those caveats:

1. There really is nothing new under the sun. The first scholarly histories of 2020 and 2021 are likely to appear plagiarized. The incident in Washington on January 6, 2021 has precedents, notwithstanding the breathless hysteria to the contrary. The capitol building was bombed in 1915, 1971 and 1983. The building hosted gunfire in 1890, 1954 and 1998. The Bonus Army marched on Washington in 1932, where Army troops shot at them and they were evicted by Douglas MacArthur, and George S. Patton, who showed up with six tanks. Both right-wing and left-wing political violence is common enough, see e.g. the Weather Underground, Symbionese Liberation Army, Radical Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan, FALN, John Brown, Timothy McVeigh, etc., that anyone who is shocked by its occasional emergence in uncertain times really needs to read more. Of course, we do not dismiss a tragedy just because something like it happened before, but we should not lose the perspective that history provides. The sky wasn't falling then, and it isn't falling now.

2. President Trump was playing with fire, and it got away from him. This also should not be surprising for a couple of reasons. In the first place, many politicians have taken to playing games they do not understand, including the President, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Wheeler, Charles Schumer, Gretchen Whitmer, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, etc. They have fallen for the fallacy of human superagency, and think nothing is beyond control of their schemes. They are wrong. Events seem to take on a life of their own see e.g. Bloody Sunday in Ireland, the Benghazi fiasco, etc., that vindicate Kipling's Gods of the Copybook Headings. What we have seen the last year or so is not new; it is simply the latest version of Hubris and Nemesis.

The second reason why Trump's behavior is not all that surprising is because of his personality. His conduct is best described as L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace. This is not a tragic flaw. To the contrary, it allowed Trump to accomplish as many worthwhile things in four years as his predecessors did in twenty-four. These included foreign policy, economic and domestic achievements, as well as altering the political landscape. He took risks and many of them paid off; the last one blew up. Theodore Roosevelt had his Brownsville Incident, Kennedy the Bay of Pigs, Carter had pretty much any decision he made between 1977 and 1981, Clinton had the Branch Davidian fiasco, George W. Bush had Abu Ghraib, Obama had Benghazi and his J.V. coach appreciation award from ISIS, and Trump had 1/6/21. This is not to excuse or equate or dismiss any of these; it is to counter the idea that presidential fiascos are unprecedented and a "threat to our democracy."

3. Speaking of a threat to our democracy, one of the reasons that left has been so brazen is that it does not view its conduct as unlawful or unethical. When Lois Lerner improperly screws Tea Party organizations, when FBI agents lie to the FISA Court, when mayors excuse rioting, when social media and cable networks suppress newsworthy stories about a presidential candidate, they view their conduct more in the nature of a fraternity prank; an acceptable bit of edgy bravado that is just a way to get back at "the man." Thus, we have Strzok's smirk, Comey's mendacity, and any number of unprincipled and cowardly saboteurs within the federal bureaucracy subverting Constitutional government.

4. The United States is not so special that it is guaranteed above- average government. Right now we seem to be in the midst of regression toward the mean. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is an average lawyer and below average jurist. The President elect is a cognitively declining, (from a relatively low baseline) quite possibly corrupt, buffoon. The Speaker of the House is a petty, also cognitively declining, parody of political ambition and self-centered ruthlessness masquerading as a public servant; The incoming Senate majority leader cannot pour a bowl of Froot Loops without asking "how can I use this to my political advantage?" Then we have an ever expanding list of legislators who seem not particularly bright, but also have temperaments more suited to an HOA board than a national legislature. Examples are too numerous for an exhaustive list, but would include the above-mentioned Ayanna Pressley, Sheldon Whitehouse, Hank Johnson, Jason Crow, and Mazie Hirono, and of course, perhaps the most embarrassing member of the House, Eric Swalwell. Right now we have one of the worst governments in our history. This is more a cultural shortcoming than a defect in our Constitutional scheme. We are too infatuated with celebrity, too vulnerable to appeals to emotion, and lack appreciation for basic liberties. We are too accommodating of cry-babies and too willing to appease bullies. This of course, will change, but it will likely get worse before it gets better. Unfortunately, we will all have to lose something before enough people realize the value of what was lost and begin the work of regaining it.

5. Our current politics is emotional and silly. It is too receptive to "outrage" and condemnation. It underappreciates character and dignity and honor. The gloating, the schadenfreude, the intolerance that mark our current political environment (and which has marked it before) has more in common with a college football rivalry, an unthinking tribalism that takes any loss as an insult and any win as an occasion to gloat. We lack manners, and this truth, accurately identified but myopically obsessed upon by the never-Trumpers, will have to change.

6. There are two quotes that I think relevant to our current circumstances: Adam Smith's "There is a great deal of ruin in a nation," and John Dryden's "Beware the fury of a patient man." The first tells us that all is not lost, that things may not be as we want them, but that does not mean that the only alternative is the abyss. I expect a rough few years with ideologues in charge. But ideology will not win in the end. We may have to re-discover some of the virtues and indeed blessings, that have made the United States flourish, but there is enough virtue, respect for human dignity and downright decency to prevail. This however requires patience, which is not to be mistaken for passivity. It may not be Dryden's fury that eventually prevails, but ultimately something more potent and enduring. Beware the power of the person who knows that liberty is necessary because no human being is ordinary, and who who will pursue it relentlessly regardless of the political winds.

So hang in there Gabe. You are on the winning side. As John Paul II remarked "the outcome has already been decided." But that doesn't mean things can't suck in the mean time.

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z9z99
on January 14, 2021 at 12:40:28 pm

Here here, Gabe.

The presumptuousness of this article is execrable, almost from the first line. The real crisis today is one of trustworthy sources of information. The writer needs to adjust his credibility radar and step out of the blaring lights of big media.

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Leigh
on January 07, 2021 at 22:38:23 pm

The Revolutionary Democrat Party (RDP) is a confederacy of racists, cowards, liars, thieves, and, yes, murderers. It has racially exploited blacks for 220 years, ravaged and stolen from the middle class for decades, and murdered the innocent by the tens of millions since 1973. The RDP, mainstream left media and Big Tech are sociopathic allies, tantamount to a 21st century Axis of Evil.

The ideological founder of the RDP, Joseph Stalin, declared, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." Yesterday, the RDP added yet another victim to its death list, Ashli Babbitt. But to the RDP and its Axis of Evil allies, Ms. Babbitt's death was neither a tragedy nor a statistic. Rather, her death for them was an insignificant consequence of the political bend to the left in the progressive arc of history, a death thought excusable if not warranted for those, like Ms. Babbitt and other Trump white trash, judged by virtue of their politics to be on the wrong side of history and, by virtue of their skin color, of racial justice.

Thanks to Gabe and to President Trump for inciting me to write.

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paladin
on January 08, 2021 at 14:16:26 pm

Nada?
Gabe, you got nada except a reply from Bond and me.

It is unfortunate that L&L has forced its readers to rely on the cumbersome process of commenting on a three day old, bad article as L&L's ONLY format for discussing what's going on in the real world right now, especially since the events of yesterday, last week, last month, and the past two months are among the most existentially important in US history.

L&L has offered nothing on any of it except an exceptionally poor article three days ago, and there is so much to say, so much that could and should be said, that is in L&L's wheelhouse.

Nope, nada!
“Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Clean Well Lighted Place.

L&L's nada attitude is that of Alfred E. Newman: "What, me worry?"

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paladin
on January 08, 2021 at 14:48:05 pm

Paladin:

Yep!
I thought there would be some response but NADA, NADA, and more NADA.

since writing the comments, I have observed that Tucker Carlson's monologue last night (something I started watching after a 20+ year hiatus from news-watching) reflected similar but more pointed sensibilities, In it he argued that it is not just the Left that hates us BUT that the GOP leadership also hates us - its own voters.
Given the comments emanating from the soon-to-be- minority Leader and his cohorts which echo the MSM's characterizations and the complete "non-coverage of the murdered protester, it is clear that we have neither a voice nor an ear to hear that voice.
Tucker's commentary also elicited no response other than the aforementioned "echo."
And you are correct:
"What me worry/" is the prevalent attitude / disposition of ALL OF OUR *ELECTED* (THAT IS IN ITALICS) Leaders.
Should this persist, the acquiescence of the citizenry may very well build beyond current frustration and evolve into rage.
But "What we worry?"

Thanks for your support. It is appreciated. and provides an impetus for me to not "sign off."

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gabe
on January 08, 2021 at 16:13:28 pm

A witness (Mr, Baranyi) to the shooting of Ms. Babbitt has just been quoted as follows:
An emotional Baranyi asked the reporter to make this tragedy known.

“Just make sure people know, because this cannot stand anymore. This is wrong. They don’t represent anyone. Not Republican, Democrat, Independent, nobody. And now they’ll just, they’ll kill people,” Baranyi answered.

When asked who is he referring to, Baranyi answered: “Police, congressmen and women, they don’t care. I mean, they think we’re a joke. $2,000 checks was a joke to them. You know, there’s people filming us, laughing at us as we marched down the street at the Department of Justice. There’s a man in the window laughing at us, filming us. And here it was a joke to them until we got inside and then all of a sudden guns came out. But I mean, we’re at a point now, it can’t be allowed to stand. We have to do something, people have to do something, because this could be you or your kids.”

A few thoughts to an audience of one (but a very smart singular man): The working middle class, historically the founder, inter-generational exponent, and aspirational symbol of the American Dream, is now in great danger. It is persecuted by the ruling class and scorned or abandoned and ignored by politicians; its businesses and rights to meet, worship and work have been destroyed by police power bans and quarantines. If the working middle class attempts to organize and speak out it is singled out for special government restraint and intimidation. If it meets en masse, it risks intimidation and bodily harm at the hands of specially-privileged groups like BLM and Antifa, which are free to destroy and harm, or at the hands of police, who, it would appear, have been freed of normal restraints of law, much like the Democrat Chicago Police Department in August 1968 was turned loose on the political opponents of the Democrat Party.

The working middle class is not just a cultural and political orphan. It is a political pariah in America. Except for their recently-crushed leader, Donald Trump, no one of power defends or cares about the working middle class, while millions of Democrats viscerally hate it, and while forces of great political, legal, and economic power openly threaten and intimidate it.

This is a very morally fraught crisis.

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paladin
on January 08, 2021 at 16:41:25 pm

And,, much as I hate to say it, we know for a certainty that were Ms. Babbitt a black woman and part of a left group the would be riots tonight in DC and probably in cities across America, at which in most citiies the police would stand down.
One of the biggest grievances of the working middle class is the officially-approved racism and invidious discrimination which they suffer in schooling, college admissions, employment and promotion, and in law enforcement.

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paladin
on January 08, 2021 at 18:37:53 pm

@Paladin's 16:13 comment:

As a young boy, I recall in catechism class, sister Mary Joseph instructing us on both the occasions and varieties of sin. i was a little perplexed when she informed us of the sins of "omission."
Being slow on the uptake, it was not until I once again resume a study of history, etc and interest in current affairs. After a number of years observing the media in this country I finally understood what Sister Mary Joseph sought to teach us. The media's deliberate practice of suppressing any and all information that either counters their narrative, demonstrates such narrative to be false or places the opposition in a favorable light may, of course be termed an omission.
But it is more than that. Indeed, it is far more than that; it is the embodiment of the concept of "sins of omission."
I do not often comment in quasi religious terms BUT I AM moved to do so as I observed the incessant lies, slanders and false narratives of the Titans of Truth. More than that when, as in the present case, a fine young woman is MURDERED by a policeman AND the media refuses to mention it, to give some pause, at a minimum to the raucous condemnations of the "seditionists", traitors" (and, Yes, Michael Grey) the "chest-thumpers" then I am enraged and causes me to shed any last remaining constraints of social nicety and am compelled to call it exactly what it is: Sinful, Evil
and Malignant. And like any cancer it must be not simply countered but destroyed and forever removed from the body (politic).
To all who object to the "wokeness", at every opportunity counter the falsehoods, do not passively accept or hide your feelings or beliefs. Do as Sarah has done (see her reply to me at 15:42pm) - walk out on those who denigrate you; argue back but NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP!

My God, what I would give were we in America to have a Winston Churchill. Instead we have mediocrities and more likely SUB- mediocrities and morons, all of whom, ALL are quite comfortable at committing sins of omission and worse.
When we passively submit, when we ignore the mendacity and a-historical commentaries and the feelings-based fantasies, we, too, commit sins of omission.
Leaving the confessional as a young boy, I recall the priest imploring me to "Go and Sin no more." I now know that included sins of omission. At least, I can say that I have avoided that sin for some 30 years now. I encourage all of you to do the same

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gabe
on January 09, 2021 at 12:10:42 pm

I join Gabe and Paladin in their disgust with the silence on this blog. I don't know what this site stands for it it won't stand up to this.

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Larry
on January 10, 2021 at 11:01:51 am

Small ball site with uninspired management and few conservative readers. In my opinion, most, if not all, of the editors and many, if not most, of the readers either despise or barely tolerate Trump and many are pleased to see him crushed.

So, what if the means were a bit unsavory. Eggs and omelets...

Also, for today's unimaginative, "Safety is Job One!" and group think is mandatory. (Recall the imaginative Lee Iaccoca's "Quality is Job One."

Ah, for the creative independent thinking of olden days.

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paladin
on January 10, 2021 at 11:05:34 am

BTW: see my comment yesterday under Book Reviews on the Melville article.

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paladin
on January 11, 2021 at 16:51:09 pm

This is a deeply disturbing article. The facts are clear. There may have been election fraud on a vast scale. There is testimony, as well as factual evidence of fraud. The denial of fraud by the political class, the media, and the talking heads can only feed the desire of the common people to get to the bottom of this. The fact that censorship has been used to dissuade investigation into the truth of the allegations should send a warning to Americans of what may lie ahead. Articles such as this do a great disservice to truth and bode ill for the future of our liberty. Lies are from the pit of hell, and smell like smoke.

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Robert B. Moffatt
on January 13, 2021 at 03:55:50 am

What has been happening of late is that L&L has been "virtue signaling" its true ideological colors as the "wannabe" "right-side permissible" opposition to the Leftist Hegemonic Permanent Regime of Historic American Dispossessionism. They are in essence trying to boot-lick their new Marxist masters so as to secure their place as Official Lapdog (non-)Opposition. Hence they'll blather on about the Constitution, the rule of law, private property, etc, but when push comes to shove, they prefer to accommodate themselves to leftist tyranny than to fight it with possible concomitant risk to themselves (here they engage in self-inflation: the Deep State probably does not know that L&L exists, let alone cares about their show of subservience). I do not know if Biden stole the election. I do know there is vast evidence of electoral irregularities, all deliberately swept under the proverbial rug.

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Leon Haller

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